One of the things I find myself consistently growing in is Joy. People tell me that joy is a spiritual gift of mine and that it is a strength in my life. For those who may not know, my middle name is Joy and it is the very reason I started this blog.
On the outside, joy seems so easy for me. While I find this super encouraging, I would like to mention that joy is one of the most difficult things for me to achieve and I find myself fighting for it consistently. But the Lord has taught me that the fight for joy is something we all must do.
Our quest for joy and duty to bring God glory are not separate things; indeed they are one. Joy is something we are called to pursue. In fact, when we place our hope in Jesus Christ, we receive the fullness of Joy.
“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.” (John 17:13)
Christ came to bring joy to all who believe. The message of Christ is meant to bring us into a space of the “full measure of joy.” What I love about this is the simplicity that is found in the gospel. John Piper said this, “We are not saved by mere decisions. We are saved by the sovereign work of God by his Spirit causing us to be born again, which brings us into being a new creature who has new affections for God and less affection for the world. That’s salvation.”
Our desire and delight in the Lord should continually increase as we pursue holiness and throw off the things of this world. Our affections should always be that of Christ’s affections, or at least aim to be.
Over and over again I hear people tell me how much joy I have, and if I’m being honest, in this season of life, joy has been the hardest thing for me to experience. I’ve had to fight my way through some of the hardest warfare and trek through the deepest valley I’ve yet to experience.
I read this quote today that I had saved on my phone three years ago. I have no idea where it came from, but here it is:
“Through joy, you can receive strength to do things that would otherwise be impossible.”
I cannot tell you how true this is. In this season I am in, I let Satan steal the biggest weapon that the Lord gives us; I let him steal my joy. I am thankful that the Lord is faithful and persistent because I know where I am at, I know I am experiencing hurt and pain on a level I never thought possible, but I also know that the Lord is good and joy comes in the morning. It’s okay to not be okay, but we can’t sit there!
As I began praying for my delight to increase in the Lord, I was made aware that my focus has not been on the Lord, but on what He can do for me. His works are great because He is great! We need to keep our eyes focused on the cross. As we fixate ourselves on Him, the promises will come. We cannot look to the outcome, but we need to delight in the process. When we seek the Lord in the process, the product will not only be a blessing, but it will bless you.
So here is me, saying out loud that I’m ready to fight. I’m ready to take the side of offense in this battle we live in and stop defending myself because that’s the Lord’s job. I’m ready to be strong again and to experience the impossible.
The strength to do what God calls us to do does not come from us. It comes from God, and it comes through trusting Him. Freedom is yours! Live in trust of the Lord and His sovereignty. ❤️